Health and safety

Health and safety advice

There is a national health and safety public advice service provided by the Health and Safety Executive. HSE Infoline can be contacted on 0845 345 0055 for access to workplace health and safety information, guidance, expert advice and support. The staff at HSE Infoline have over 700 leaflets on different topics they can send to you and can direct you to relevant guidance on the Health and Safety Executive Infoline .

Health and safety careers

With over 3000 premises to inspect in the Chichester District, a career in health and safety with the council is guaranteed to be varied, demanding and rewarding.

All staff engaged in health and safety are either qualified Environmental Health Officers, or Environmental Health Technicians with appropriate health and safety qualifications. Professional qualifications for these posts are issued by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health  (CIEH).

The Environmental Health department has a policy of offering students on approved Environmental health courses a practical placement within the Environmental Health Service. The Environmental Health Service may be able to help with certain training expenses during the students placement. Nationally, there is a shortage of both Environmental Health Officers and qualified food/health & safety inspectors. If you are interested in a career in either of these areas, please contact us.

Health and safety project work

The district council carries out routine health and safety enforcement inspections of premises that have been rated higher risk. Normally, a mail shot is sent periodically to premises which have been rated lower risk, asking them to confirm they have reviewed their health and safety management arrangements and enclosing a self-audit form. In addition to this type of work, the council carries out projects which are targeted at high risk areas of work. For example, checking that businesses have addressed the duty to manage asbestos issues. Project work may involve approaches other than inspections, such as giving talks.

Notification of cooling towers and evaporative condensers

If you control non-domestic premises you must ensure that you notify the District Council of any cooling tower or evaporative condenser (notifiable devices) on the premises. There are exceptions to this requirement including where the equipment contains no water exposed to the air. The purpose of the requirement is to assist the District Council and HSE monitor the environmental control of these devices. Such devices have caused outbreaks of legionnaire's disease when not properly maintained.

Please see the application form to notify the District Council Environmental Health Service. There is also a copy of the current entries on this council's register for these devices. You must notify the local authority of any changes to the notification information within one month of the change. If the device ceases to be a notifiable device, you must notify the district council in writing as soon as possible.

Self audit form

The council keeps a database of premises within the district which is regularly updated. Each year we plan a programme of inspections on the higher risk premises. Lower risk premises are inspected using alternative enforcement strategies such as a self audit questionnaire. Small low risk business are sent a H&S pack including an explanatory letter, useful guidance and the self audit questionnaire. For monitoring purposes a proportion of businesses that return the completed questionnaire will also receive a visit and obviously we will visit all those that fail to return the questionnaire.

In addition to the planned inspection programme, we undertake a range of project based inspections based on the HSE priority topic areas. Examples of project areas are workplace transport, moving goods safely, slips and trips, falls from height, work related stress in the financial sector, work place asthma and dermatitis in the beauty industry.

Event safety and the Safety Advisory Group

The Safety Advisory Group advises on safety aspects for public events that are planned to take place in the Chichester District.

The main objectives of the SAG are:

  • To promote safety and welfare at events;
  • To promote good safety and welfare practices in event planning;
  • To ensure that well planned events have minimal adverse impact on those attending the event and local communities;
  • To promote mitigation for potential and unforeseen incidents; and
  • To ensure the emergency services and other key organisations have an awareness of events happening in the area, in case they have to respond to an emergency or major incident.

The SAG includes representatives from the following organisations:

  • Local Authorities;
  • Police;
  • Ambulance Service;
  • Fire Service; and
  • Other organisations with specialist knowledge as required.

In general, public events where more than 500 people are expected will be considered by the SAG, although smaller events may benefit from the SAG process if there are specific safety issues that need to be considered.

The SAG process

The organiser will be asked to share their event safety plan and risk assessment documents, which should include details of:

  • the location and site design
  • the crowd and traffic management plans
  • the safeguarding and welfare arrangements
  • the emergency and contingency plans
  • any relevant licence or permission

We ask for the initial version of the event plan to be submitted 3 months prior to the event. If the event is significant in size, then we would ask that the SAG is contacted at the earliest opportunity.

Once the plan and risk assessments are received they are circulated to the SAG members for their consideration. Any comments made by SAG members will then be fed back to the event organiser. In certain circumstances the SAG may request to meet with the event organiser to discuss their plans in greater detail and ensure that there are sufficient resources available should there be an incident for which they are required. The SAG co-ordinator will liaise with all parties to arrange and facilitate the meeting. Any advice will be documented and provided to the event organiser. Although all comments and observations made are mostly advisory, they are made by professionals in the interest of public safety and should not be dismissed lightly. Legal responsibility for the safe running of the event still rests with the event organiser.

If you are planning an event for more than 500 people, then please complete the proposed event form below and submit to the email address stated on the form.

Advice on devising event plans

The Sussex Local Authorities Planning Group has devised a document called 'Guidance on event Planning', which provides further detail about how Safety Advisory Groups function.  It also provides useful advice for event organisers on what to consider, along with how to devise event plans and risk assessments.  There is also a generic template to assist any event organiser who is constructing an event plan for the first time.

For further event safety guidance, please visit the HSE  and Cabinet Office guidance  websites.

Events scheduled to take place in the Chichester District

Below is a list of events anticipated to take place in the Chichester District for this year.